The Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts (Melbourne, Fla.) has reopened following major renovations totaling $1.3 million to improve the sight lines and concert sound system at the main theater, including installing four Lake Contour digital speaker processors and two Lake Mesa Quad EQ digital matrix processors. The six Lake Technology processors, which were supplied along with a wireless touch pad and access point, control multiple zones of loudspeakers at the 2,000-seat performing arts hall.
"The Lake Contour system, because of the wireless tablet, is great because it allows us to 'walk the room' and make adjustments in real time for any location in the house," says Tim Freese, technical director at the King Center for the Performing Arts. "It is a perfect match to our JBL VerTec speaker system, which is a perfect match for our facility."
One Lake Mesa Quad EQ provides individual control of the upper four and lower two cabinets in the main left/right line array. "That way, I have the flexibility to turn the bottom boxes up and down if Ineed to or turn them off," says Rance Caldwell (pictured), technical supervisor and main front-of-house mixer. "Those boxes point downward into the orchestra pit, so I turn them off when we have an orchestral event."
The second Lake Mesa Quad EQ handles processing for four onstage monitor mixes. The four Lake Contour processors control the high and low boxes in the center cluster, as well as balcony fill, frontfill speakers positioned along the downstage lip, deck fill (speakers covering side areas in the lower seating area), and the main and deck fill subwoofer systems.
According to Kenny Holton, founding principal of ASR ProSound, the sound consultants hired to replace the King Center's 15-year-old sound system, "The center's technical director and the theater manager were sold on the Lake Technology equipment, as well as JBL VerTec speakers and Crown amplifiers because of a show in the theater with Alison Krauss. They saw the show and fell in love with how it sounded. The show featured audio equipment provided by Clair Bros. Audio Systems, including Lake Contour processors."
Holton began by introducing King Center officials to the audio equipment manufacturers. "The Lake team bent over backward to help design this system," he says. "It was a year in the planning, and there were structural redesigns at the King Center that altered the spec of what we were going to put in there. But all the time we were adamant that Lake Technology had to be in there."
ASR ProSound had previous experience with Lake equipment improving existing sound systems. "We did a similar project at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville," Holton recalls. "They were all set to buy a new P.A. I said, 'Give me $30,000 and let me put in a new drive system.' We put in a new Contour/Mesa system—and they kept the P.A.!
"We knew this one wasn't going to be so simple,” he continues. “The original sound system had outlived its useful life. The company was able to supply the center with a significantly upgraded system within the available budget because of ASR's excellent relationship with the equipment manufacturers."